8 Great Canadian Halls of Fame
Canadians might have an international reputation for modesty, but we’re certainly not shy when it comes to celebrating the Great White North’s best and brightest. From sports heroes and daredevils to medical pioneers and musicians, these Canadian halls of fame celebrate some of our nation’s most notable—and unusual—achievements.
1. Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, St. Marys, Ontario
Would you believe “America’s pastime” is actually Canadian? The most surprising detail you’ll learn at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame is that the first documented baseball game in North America took place in the tiny town of Beachville, Ontario, on June 4, 1838. The Hall not only pays homage to 117 inductees, but also hosts an array of impressive artifacts, including the home plate that Toronto Blue Jays slugger Joe Carter stepped on after his unforgettable World Series-winning home run on October 23, 1993.
Check out our guide to the 8 Major League Baseball Parks You Must Visit Before You Die!
2. Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, London, Ontario
Honouring the innovations and achievements of Canada’s health care heroes, the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame’s laureates include Dr. Roberta Bondar (neurologist and Canada’s first female astronaut), Dr. John McCrae (pathologist and author of “In Flanders Fields”) and Sir Frederick Banting (Nobel Prize winner for the discovery of insulin). Round out your visit with a tour of nearby Banting House–the home of Frederick Banting, and a National Historic Site recognized as “the birthplace of insulin.”
3. Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, Calgary
Ever wanted to test your goaltending skills, or shadow box with a world heavyweight champ? You can tick both off of your bucket list at this facility dedicated to preserving Canada’s impressive sport history. Located at Calgary’s WinSport Canada Olympic Park, Canada’s Sports Hall of of Fame celebrates the feats of 605 legendary athletes and the 65 sports they represent. Among the prized artefacts on display is the shoe worn by Terry Fox when he dipped his foot in the Atlantic Ocean to begin his Marathon of Hope.
4. Niagara Daredevil Hall of Fame, Niagara Falls, Ontario
Sixteen thrill-seekers have tried to conquer Canada’s mighty Horseshoe Falls—and some even lived to tell the tale. The Niagara Daredevil Hall of Fame at the Niagara IMAX Theatre gives you the opportunity to reach out and touch the contraptions that carried some of these men and women over the brink. Don’t miss the padded barrel of 63-year-old schoolteacher Annie Edson Taylor, the first person to ever successfully ride the falls.
Check out our countdown of Canada’s 10 Most Beautiful Waterfalls!
5. Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, Merritt, British Columbia
What better place to celebrate Canadian country music than in the nation’s country music capital? At the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, you’ll discover the artists, builders and broadcasters who have contributed to the genre’s development, including inductees Gordon Lightfoot, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Michelle Wright. After a visit to the Hall, take in the Country Legends murals that are dotted around the town.
6. Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame, Wetaskiwin, Alberta
It’s fitting that Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame is located at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum, one of only three fly-in museums in Canada. Boasting a collection of 26 vintage aircraft (the second-largest such collection in the country), the Hall also showcases biographies of its inductees—namely, the men and women who have advanced aviation in Canada. On summer weekends, weather permitting, visitors can book a 10-minute ride in an open cockpit biplane.
7. Canadian Mining Hall of Fame, Toronto
Discover how mining touches every part of our lives at the Mining Hall of Fame exhibit housed within the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. (Not big on the Big Smoke? No problem—there are copies of the exhibit at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, as well as in Elliot Lake, Ontario, and Britannia Beach, British Columbia.) Interactive video touch screens help bring the fascinating biographies of the Hall’s 170 inductees to life. Leave time to explore the Gallery of Minerals and the Gallery of Gems and Gold.
8. Hockey Hall of Fame, Toronto
What roundup of great Canadian halls of fame would be complete without a mention of this Toronto landmark? Although not exclusively devoted to the careers of Canadian players, there’s a strong Canuck contingent to the Hockey Hall of Fame, including an interactive exhibit that gives you the chance to play goal against a life-sized Sidney Crosby. If that’s not enough, how about a selfie with Lord Stanley’s Cup? Well worth the admission fee in itself.